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Thread: I think she hates me!

  1. #1

    Default I think she hates me!

    Hi all,

    Our bun Dottie has issues!

    She's been with us for a few months now, having got her from a home where she was in a tiny hutch (a double with missing ramp, so one level) and obviously neglected.

    Since bringing her home, we've have provided her with lots of space, enrichment, quality food, veggies and a friend (after spaying) but she's always been aggressive towards us.

    I'm thinking it's part fear due to a lack of interaction prior, and possibly her being territorial over what she now has.

    I've mentioned before that she will try to nip me and makes a grunting noise. When I feed her I have to be quick to avoid getting bitten and if I have to pick her up for some reason she will lash out. This evening she also reacted aggressively when I tried to pick up her partner Ziggy.

    Is there anything I can do or is it just her, do you think?

    Thanks x

  2. #2
    Mama Doe tlcwrites's Avatar
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    Rivergrace was very like Dottie when we first got her. Morningstar too, but not so significantly. Both girls were already spayed when we got them. Both were 3; they're now approximately 4.5 years of age.

    Neither girl especially likes being stroked now, neither likes being picked up, but will tolerate it.

    However they do approach me without boxing or growling or lunging. I might get to stroke them on very rare occasions, but not for long. River's had the biggest turnaround. She was the most fearful but is now the friendlier of the 2.

    To be honest all it's taken is time. And the association of nice things. And no unnecessary touching as it stresses them out (though Morning chinned me today.) Of course the girls have been split into their respective groups as they weren't closely bonded. Being with more outgoing rabbits who are very human friendly has helped. Almost all their interactions with me are on their terms. River, I've somewhat trained to get into their crate to travel in. (The trio travels in a small dog crate.) If I have to pick either of them up, I always make it for the shortest time possible. It makes certain health checks nearly impossible, but the stress counteracts the benefits of them in their case. Oh, and if they need their front claws clipping, I get someone to bribe them up against the mesh of their run and I clip them through the bars.

    I think she could come round a bit over time, even if that "over time" means working out how to do things on her terms.
    Twitter: @tlcwrites
    Owned by:
    Bunnies: Elphie & Selene, Helios & Morningstar, Athena, Erasmus & Rivergrace, Persephone & Morpheus, Arce & Yuki
    Cats: Brannigan, Nyssa, Zara, & Ajali
    Tortoise: Aurora
    Gone, but not forgotten: Nessarose, Archimedes, Lelantos, Galinda, Bee, Takumi, Apollo, Iris

    T. L. Cowell - Author & Freelance Writer
    TLC's Home for Wayward Buns now has a Facebook Page! Feel free to like us for regular updates on them.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the reply tlc

    As they've just moved outside, their playhouse and run hasn't been connected yet. I think once that happens it will help as they can go in and out when they want and I won't have to keep moving them around.

    I do definitely approach her in a different way because I know how she will react. The minute she sees me she goes on the defensive.

    I think moving them outside was the best thing though, as at least now we can walk across my dd's room without getting our ankles nipped! x

  4. #4
    Mama Doe tlcwrites's Avatar
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    Ah yes, unconnected playhouse/run certainly won't help. I think moving River outside, first with Takumi, and then with Athena and Erasmus really helped her. To be honest, she's only ever in her hutches for hay. (A 6x2 and a 4x2; the intention is to build another tower for the trio this year so they have more space.)

    It's helped Morning too, though without Elphie, poor Helios can be a little hen-pecked, especially around food!
    Twitter: @tlcwrites
    Owned by:
    Bunnies: Elphie & Selene, Helios & Morningstar, Athena, Erasmus & Rivergrace, Persephone & Morpheus, Arce & Yuki
    Cats: Brannigan, Nyssa, Zara, & Ajali
    Tortoise: Aurora
    Gone, but not forgotten: Nessarose, Archimedes, Lelantos, Galinda, Bee, Takumi, Apollo, Iris

    T. L. Cowell - Author & Freelance Writer
    TLC's Home for Wayward Buns now has a Facebook Page! Feel free to like us for regular updates on them.

  5. #5
    Warren Veteran joey&boo's Avatar
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    I agree a more extrovert bunny can help. She doesn't hate you, she just has trust issues. It sounds like everybun will be more settled when their accommodation is finalised & then you'll have the opportunity to connect on a less stressful basis. How people orientated bunnies are does seem to vary hugely - one of mine like this retained an aloofness (though wasn't aggressive to me, just everyone else) all her life, my other became the softest cuddlebun ever. You're doing right by her & giving her a great life, that's what counts x

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlcwrites View Post
    Ah yes, unconnected playhouse/run certainly won't help. I think moving River outside, first with Takumi, and then with Athena and Erasmus really helped her. To be honest, she's only ever in her hutches for hay. (A 6x2 and a 4x2; the intention is to build another tower for the trio this year so they have more space.)

    It's helped Morning too, though without Elphie, poor Helios can be a little hen-pecked, especially around food!
    Yes, it's definitely a priority to get the run and playhouse linked up a.s.a.p. I had initially planned to keep them inside primarily, but now of course we have moved Spud in there! Although, as I say, I think Dottie will be more suited to outdoor living once its all sorted and I can let her do her own thing.

    I do worry about Ziggy and hope he isn't getting bullied. I mean he seems ok and eating well etc, but she was humping him quite violently the other day and I've seen her take veg straight out of his mouth! x

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by joey&boo View Post
    I agree a more extrovert bunny can help. She doesn't hate you, she just has trust issues. It sounds like everybun will be more settled when their accommodation is finalised & then you'll have the opportunity to connect on a less stressful basis. How people orientated bunnies are does seem to vary hugely - one of mine like this retained an aloofness (though wasn't aggressive to me, just everyone else) all her life, my other became the softest cuddlebun ever. You're doing right by her & giving her a great life, that's what counts x
    Yes, I agree. Once I no longer have to move her between the playhouse and run, I can keep contact to a minimum if she prefers it that way. Ziggy is an absolute softy though, but I think gets terrified of interaction because of how Dottie behaves x

  8. #8
    Warren Scout bluelop's Avatar
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    I have a bun I got from a breeder that was no longer needed as she was 3. She was really scared and would literally scream if I picked her up. She would try snd attack you when putting her feed in. I stopped trying to pick her up snd used a Carrier to move her from hutch to run. Then used Carrier to get her back to hutch . I just gave her nice tit bits every time I went to talk to her or clean her out . Never forcing any contact. Now a year later i can pick her up snd if I call her in the garden she comes to be stroked and loves it. They are all different but so thrilled how she has turned into a lovely rabbit . X

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluelop View Post
    I have a bun I got from a breeder that was no longer needed as she was 3. She was really scared and would literally scream if I picked her up. She would try snd attack you when putting her feed in. I stopped trying to pick her up snd used a Carrier to move her from hutch to run. Then used Carrier to get her back to hutch . I just gave her nice tit bits every time I went to talk to her or clean her out . Never forcing any contact. Now a year later i can pick her up snd if I call her in the garden she comes to be stroked and loves it. They are all different but so thrilled how she has turned into a lovely rabbit . X
    Aw, that's great that you won her round

    I do try to move them around in the carrier too, but she'll do everything she can to avoid going in it lol. Getting the playhouse and run linked up is definitely a priority x

  10. #10
    Warren Scout
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    i don't have anything like the experience of others here but if i've learned one thing about bunnies it all takes time..lots of it !

    i ended up with a bunny by 'accident' .. my first ever bunny .. and first ever difficult animal ! she would nip my ankles and any other body parts thatgot in her way she had been in three homes in as many months and lived in way too small a cage and wasnot yet spayed.. with hindsight it is hardly surprising she was as she was.

    two years down the line she is a different soul .. she has a wingbun ( which definitely impacted on our relationship but was the best thing i've done for any animal i've ever had) and lives outdoors (mostly) where she is happier.

    my cats love me ... my bunnies appreciate me being their food conduit ... but they have learned i will do them no harm and i have found the gaining of their trust to be a wonderful .. if frustratingly slow experience.

    i don't know what will happen with your bunny but as her environment changes and she learns you are not a threat things could change... a lot

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